To improve the item, right-click it, click Examine, read what item is needed to improve it, activate the necessary item, and right-click the first item again to attempt to improve it.
Containers and the inventory usually show an extra imp-column to show you the tool you need to improve the items. This can be enabled or disabled by right-clicking the name header, and select toggle imp column.
- Some items require certain conditions to be improved. For example, smithing items need to be glowing hot to improve, hence it is best to improve them while they are still in a forge or other fire container.
- Most items need to be at 0 damage (repaired) to be improved, notable exceptions include wooden fences, wooden gates, and stone walls.
- Some items cannot be improved and will reflect that when the examine command gives no information for improvement. For example: new player starter kit tools, most building materials (dirt, planks, etc), yoyos, raw materials (which can, however, can be combined with higher quality materials to be improved, at the expense of the higher quality material), unrepairable items, etc.
- Unfinished items can't be improved until finished. The improve keybind won't work on them, use finish instead.
- The quality you can improve something up to is limited by two things:
- your skill that is used for improving
- the quality of the materials that are needed for improving
- When improving with items like logs or lumps, improving requires 5% of the weight of the object being improved in that material, up to a maximum of .50.
For example: if you have carpentry 20 and use quality 10 logs to improve a mallet, you can get it to at least quality 10. After that, the logs can't be used anymore for improving this mallet as its quality is higher than the quality of the logs. You can, however, get up to around 30 IF you are lucky and it only wants tools for the improving processes.
You could get it without problems close to quality 30, but as soon as the quality of the item you want to improve is higher than your skill, the quality gain per successful improve will become less and less while the damage on a fail becomes higher.
The quality of your tools doesn't affect these limits, but the better the quality, the higher the chance that the improving will succeed. On the other hand, higher quality tools will give less skill gain for improving. So if you want to grind a skill, it is better to use low quality tools and things that need few material like spindles or clay shapers for carpentry, needles for blacksmithing, carving knifes for blade smithing and so on. The lighter an item is, the less material it will need for improving, 5% of its weight or 0.5kg at max. This means a 60kg raft will only need 0.5kg of log and a 0.6kg spindle will need 0.03kg of log.
Wooden and Stone Fences/Walls
- Fences and walls have the unique property that allows the player to improve the quality even when using materials which are lower in quality then the fence or wall section being improved. The amount of increase in the quality is less, however, than it would be if using materials of a higher quality then the fence or wall section.
Here's a few things you could do to help improve when doing smithing. It's very helpful to have a toolbelt, with the toolbelt you can bind your number keys 1-10 with key bindings for toggling imping tools on your toolbelt.
- Use the console and type "Bind 1 Activate_Tool1", then doing it 9 more times until you have your number keys 1-10 tied to the toolbelt.
- Afterwards, use the console and type "Bind R Repair" and then "Bind I Improve".
You now have all of your key bindings set. Now drag the common imping tools to your toolbelt like a whetstone for sharpening, a pelt for polishing, a hammer for dents, and when tempering with water, have a small barrel of water or a waterskin in your inventory and drag the water onto the toolbelt. You can also add the lump you are using for imping onto your toolbelt. So now you should have everything ready. When you have your item that you are going to imp in your inventory, drag your mouse over the item and press the number keys 1 through 5 to whatever next step of imping it needs. Then press "I" for improving with that tool, and "R" for repairing. With this, you are conveniently imping with minimal effort. Enjoy!